Sunday, October 23, 2016

Kid Quote of the Week

When I reminded my class they needed to use their listening ears....

"Teacher, I have the best ears!  They're listening ears! I can hear ANYTHING! Even with my headphones on."  Cora ~ Super Hearing Powers

Halloween STEM Project

We have been learning about spiders in our science journals recently and these Spider Web Bridges from Brooke Brown - Teach Outside the Box fit right in for our Friday STEM project.  

We started by making a blueprint for our designs, each student drew a picture of what the design they thought would hold the most blocks (unifix cubes).  Then they got into groups to strategize and begin working on their Spider Bridges. 

Some groups worked really well together! They jumped right in and got to work.  
Spider Web Bridges STEM Project

Other groups had a harder time coming together.  They each wanted to create their own design, not work together to try each design.  
Spider Web Bridges STEM Project

 I anticipated each group would spend about 30 minutes working until they were ready to start testing their web bridges.  This was 45 minutes in.....
Spider Web Bridges STEM Project
Not quite ready!

Spider Web Bridges STEM Project
An hour in....  Almost there!

I made an executive decision.... Time to test for success!

Spider Web Bridges STEM Project Spider Web Bridges STEM Project
 Not enough "web" but plenty of tape!

Spider Web Bridges STEM Project Spider Web Bridges STEM Project
  Looks good!

Spider Web Bridges STEM Project
Probably a little TOO much "web" and not enough tape!

After many attempts to have the most blocks on their webs, each group had to evaluate their work. They had to write down what worked well, what was challenging, and how they improved their designs.  Some groups realized things were not working and started over (multiple times); some groups were very methodical and took their time.  No matter how they did it, it was a win in my book!  The kids had to work together (a very hard thing to do in 1st grade) and they had an amazing amount of stamina!  In the end they spent approximately 2 hours working! We did have our lunch in the middle, but I was highly impressed!  

Next up Pumpkin Catapults!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tie-Dye... Oh My!

I want to start by letting you know that I'm really not crazy! A few years ago I had an idea to tie-dye t-shirts with all of the 1st Grade students, we use them as our "uniform" for field trips.  The kids love them and they are a great way for us to keep track of our kiddos while we are away from the classroom.
Each time we take on this GIANT task I try to figure out how to do it better than the time before. It always amazes me how much fun the kids have with this activity.
They get to choose the design for their shirt and the colors.  We don't let them put any dye on the shirts because it's hard to control with the adults in the room!

Getting ready to rinse the extra dye out of the shirts...
Maybe I should have worn gloves while I rinsed!

Mrs. I is not allowed to tie double knots in the sacks anymore.
I'm glad my husband was at Wood Badge! He'll never know....

Close to done. We just need to rinse in vinegar and wash.  I love how bright the colors are and the run designs the kids chose.  Take a look at our hard work!
 That is 90 tie-dyed t-shirts!
 The side bulls-eye.

The crumple.

The rolled stripes. (Very Patriotic!)

I already have plans to improve for next year!!!